UK Government in conversation with healthtechs Babylon and Thriva about coronavirus tests

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Minister Matt Hancock attended a roundtable meeting on Tuesday with healthtech startups and representatives of healthcare leaders and tech giants, with the goal of finding ways to test more people in the current pandemic.

At least two healthtech firms - Babylon Health and Thriva - were represented, alongside figures from Amazon, Boots and Roche.

Babylon Health is a service provider offering remote consultations with doctors and health care professionals via text and video messaging. Holborn-based Thriva offers smart finger-prick blood tests that can be completed at home and posted to specialists.

Business Insider reports that those in attendance at the Tuesday meeting offered suggestions on how they could help scale up the number of coronavirus tests available to the public, in order to more quickly learn the extend of the coronavirus's spread and tackle it quickly.

Within the next month, according to Hancock, testing will be boosted to 25,000 patients a day.

In a statement, he said: "Public safety is my top priority, and radically ramping up testing for coronavirus is a key part of our plan to protect lives.

"We are already among the best in the world for coronavirus testing and today we are launching a national effort to increase our testing capability even further."